YMMA Objects Sending Bodies of Sri Lankan Muslim Covid-19 Victims Overseas for Burial

Press Release - Colombo – December 14, 2020,

The All Ceylon Young Men’s Muslim Association Conference (ACYMMAC) at its Emergency Executive Committee Meeting held on 13th December 2020 unanimously decided to emphatically and unequivocally object to sending the bodies, of Sri Lankan Muslims who die of or suspected to have died of Covid-19, to the Maldives or any other country or foreign territory.

Meanwhile, ACYMMAC greatly appreciates and is sincerely grateful to the Government and the people of the Republic of Maldives for their humanitarian concern and for sharing in our moment of grief.  This expression of their unstinted solidarity by offering their land for the burial of Muslim bodies epitomises the love, peace, serenity and brotherhood in the teachings of Islam.

The ACYMMAC is of the strong conviction that the Muslims of Sri Lanka are deeply rooted to the soil of this country, which has been their Motherland for more than a thousand years.  Under no circumstances would they consider to be buried other than in the soil in which they were born and bred.

The ACYMMAC is confident that the members of the Technical Committee appointed by the Government would address their minds to the religious, cultural and traditional concerns of not only the Muslim community but, also, those in other communities namely Buddhists, Hindus and Christians who would prefer a burial of their loved ones.

The ACYMMAC firmly believes that the Technical Committee will announce a favourable decision, in the near future, enabling the burial of our loved ones who have died of COVID-19 infection in our own Motherland in compliance with the Guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The ACYMMAC is of the firm conviction that the Government of Sri Lanka would not abdicate its duty, to provide all its citizens their due last rights, to a foreign country as it would be tantamount to an admission of its inability to facilitate the dignified farewell of its citizens and that it would be a sad day for the sovereignty of our proud Motherland if it was to give up and handover any of its deceased citizens to another country to carry out their last rights.

The ACYMMAC assures that it will take steps to ensure that the Muslim community abide by and adhere to the Guidelines set out by the World Health Organisation and our Ministry of Health to ensure safe burial.

The ACYMMAC calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to politely turn down the offer by the Government of the Republic of Maldives to bury the bodies of Sri Lankan Muslims who die of or are suspected to have died of Covid-19 in one of their islands and to do so in respect of any other such offers which may be made in future by any other country.